Most SE Asian stocks rise on hopes of thaw in Chinese-US trade tensions

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BENGALURU (Sept 11): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday as China's announcement of exemptions on some US products from duties buoyed hopes of a thaw in a trade war that has bruised global markets.

China announced exemptions for 16 types of US products from additional retaliatory duties, as trade negotiators from the two countries prepare to meet this month to try to de-escalate their protracted tariff row.

Singapore stocks surged 1.6% posting its third straight gain supported by financials and real estate stocks.

Real estate stocks got a boost from the Housing & Development Board (HDB) announcement of enhanced Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grant for more affordable and accessible homes.

"The higher CPF grant and income ceiling will improve the HDB resale and upgraders market. This is supportive for the private residential mass market," said Paul Chew, head of research at Phillip Securities Research.

Shares of Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd and City Developments Ltd gained 3.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

"Any revival of property transaction volumes will be supportive of mortgage loans which have been contracting in Singapore," he added.

Shares of top lenders DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank Ltd rose 1.4% and 2.3%, respectively.     

Malaysian stocks gained 0.4% after trading in a tight range during the day, as government data showed the industrial production index rising at its slowest in five years in July, boosting hopes of monetary easing.

Malaysia's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a policy review on Thursday, a Reuters poll found, as it keeps room for potential easing later should global growth fall sharply.

Indonesian stocks gained 0.7% closing at its highest level since July 31, buoyed by financial and consumer stocks.

Astra International Tbk Pt rose 3.8% to a more than one-month closing high. Shares of Bank central Asia Tbk Pt gained 0.7%.

Philippine stocks gained 0.5% on the back of real estate and utility stocks.

Ayala Land Inc gained 2%, while Aboitiz Power Corp surged 2.4%.

Financial and material stocks drove the Thai benchmark index 0.5% higher.

Vietnam stocks bucked the trend, easing marginally.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3204.52   3155.71         1.55
Bangkok                1674.03   1665.93         0.49
Manila                 7967.9    7929.48         0.48
Jakarta                6381.954  6336.673        0.71
Kuala Lumpur           1602.3    1595.85         0.40
Ho Chi Minh            969.31    970.26          -0.10

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3204.52   3068.76         4.42
Bangkok                1674.03   1563.88         7.04
Manila                 7967.9    7,466.02        6.72
Jakarta                6381.954  6,194.50        3.03
Kuala Lumpur           1602.3    1690.58         -5.22
Ho Chi Minh            969.31    892.54          8.60